Elements of a History of the Soul in North-West Semitic Texts: npš/nbš in the Hebrew Bible and the Katumuwa Inscription

Joachim Schaper* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Amongst Hebrew Bible scholars the question of the understanding of biblical key terms and concepts pertaining to the human condition has attracted a fair amount of interest. And amongst those key terms and concepts it is the concept of nefeš that has proved to be particularly attractive and challenging. New light is thrown on the biblical concept by the recent discovery of the Katumuwa stele in Zincirli. The present article examines the evidence and draws conclusions with regard to the history of the concept of nefeš in the Hebrew Bible and in North-West Semitic literature and religion generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-176
Number of pages21
JournalVetus Testamentum
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020



  • Aramaic inscriptions
  • Biblical key terms and concepts
  • Genesis 35
  • Katumuwa stele
  • Nefeš
  • North-West Semitic literature and religion
  • Soul
  • Zincirli
  • nefes
  • soul
  • biblical key terms and concepts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • History
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Linguistics and Language

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